What About The Covenant?-2


September 21-What About The Covenant?-2




The days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel.... I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more. Jer. 31:31-34, RSV.

Ellen White and Waggoner were in essential harmony on the covenants. Her treatment of the two covenants, penned in the late 1880s, provides a nice summary of their view on the topic.

"The terms of the 'old covenant,' " she writes, "were, Obey and live.... The 'new covenant' was established upon 'better promises'--the promise of forgiveness of sins and of the grace of God to renew the heart and bring it into harmony with the principles of God's law. 'This shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts....I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.' Jeremiah 31:33, 34.

"The same law that was engraved upon the tables of stone is written by the Holy Spirit upon the tables of the heart. Instead of going about to establish our own righteousness we accept the righteousness of Christ. His blood atones for our sins. His obedience is accepted for us. Then the heart renewed by the Holy Spirit will bring forth 'the fruits of the Spirit.' Through the grace of Christ we shall live in obedience to the law of God written upon our hearts. Having the Spirit of Christ, we shall walk even as He walked" (PP 372).
It was the concept of a covenant of grace that shook so many of the old-line Adventists, with their old covenant emphasis on the primacy of obedience, to their very roots.

Waggoner's focus on faith in Christ undermined their law-oriented theology, even though, as we have seen, Waggoner, Jones, and Ellen White had a prominent place for the law and obedience in their theology. But for them obedience flowed out of a saving relationship to Jesus rather than leading to such a relationship.

Which way is the "flow" going in your life? It is my impression that all too many Adventists are concerned about their performance--in how they are doing--rather than being primarily interested in Christ and what He has done for them.

Today is the best day in the rest of your life to get your "flow" turned around and to begin
a new covenant walk with God.

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But there must be earnest study and close investigation. Sharp, clear perceptions of truth will never be the reward of indolence. No earthy blessing can be obtained without earnest, patient, persevering effort. If men attain success in business, they must have a will to do and a faith to look for results. And we cannot expect to gain spiritual knowledge without earnest toil. Those who desire to find the treasures of truth must dig for them as the miner digs for the treasure hidden in the earth(COL 111).